I also thought I could, "take the bull by the horns" and talk to Owens' class about Autism, how Owens' brain works different then other people - and he is really amazing at certain things, like you and I.. you can read about that experience here. Very informative, I saw the love those kids had for Owen - it was an amazing experience I wish all parents were able to see, because it's true - we worry when we are not with our kids, typical or not..... but I wasn't there yesterday, I was at work, Ryan was at rugby, kids were with my young babysitter, and here is how it went down.
My babysitter and her friend, asked me if they could take the kids to the park - I said no problem, they love the park, it is a 2 minute walk from our house - have fun :)
I stopped at home to pick up my card I forgot, and she informed me what happened at the park. The park was busy, and there were several middle school aged kids there, swearing. I get it, we all swear - I legit sound like a trucker .. but there is a time and place, and I'm 28 - not 12. My babysitter asked the kids to please stop swearing, there are young kids here, and they don't need to hear it.
A kid looks at her and says laughing, "Sorry, my friend is mentally challenged". Babysitter lost it, somewhere along the lines of, "there are kids here that have Autism, don't ever say that again, you better shut your mouth or I will do it for you". Awesome. Kids stop. With all the loud noise, and all the kids that were there, Owen starts getting too bothered, and begins to hum to himself to relax - the same kids start laughing at him. done. Babysitters rips into them one side then the other, take the my kids and leave. Man, I am so proud of her, yet I wish I was there. I know its the age of the kids, man, I remember being like that ... rude, ignorant, it's horrible.... and people, children or not, do not deserve to be treated like that.
In a group of teenagers, it is hard to educate and actually have them pay attention, sometimes you will get the, "leader" of out the pack that is trying to make a statement, and that's fine...they will hopefully learn one day, one can only hope for understanding and acceptance. I am proud that I leave my 3 beauties in the hands of our babysitter. You know what the kicker is in all of this - Owen doesn't care. He doesn't care what people say or think about him, he doesn't acknowledge them, honestly, doesn't phase him as of right now - he is lucky. He doesn't notice he hasn't been invited to a birthday party for any of his classmates, has had 1 play date - things that tear me up when I think about it because I can't understand why, he could care less about - I could learn something from him.
On a happier note, our Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism T-Shirts are selling like crazy! Over 50 have been spoken for, and we are going to be in the midst of ordering more, and selling them at the fundraiser!! Here are some pictures of the shirts, Jessica showing her amazing support, and what you are all supporting seeing Owen and Ben participating in Owen's Speech Therapy session at the Children's Centre :)